Kendal Pierson won the first-ever breakaway roping round at CFR 47 Saturday afternoon at the Peavey Mart Centrium. (BYRON HACKETT/Advocate Staff)

Kendal Pierson won the first-ever breakaway roping round at CFR 47 Saturday afternoon at the Peavey Mart Centrium. (BYRON HACKETT/Advocate Staff)

Breakaway roping makes debut at CFR

Kendal Pierson is no stranger to breaking barriers and she did it in style.

The young cowgirl brought the crowd at the Peavey Mart Centrium to their feet in round 4, in the debut of breakaway roping at Canadian Finals Rodeo 47 on Saturday.

Pierson took just two seconds to rope her steer but the moment meant so much more to cowgirls across the country who have long wanted more opportunity in rodeo.

“It was great, the crowd was into it. We’re all grateful to be here. The breakaway ropers are glad for the opportunity that the (Canadian Professional Rodeo Association) gave us and we’re just excited to be here,” she said.

The 17-year-old who hails from Wardlow, Alta., and is part of a long lineage of cowboys and cowgirls, said it was her dream to compete at CFR, but she never thought it would be in breakaway roping.

“When I was little, it wasn’t in the breakaway roping because there was no breakaway roping, I had my eyes set on being at the Canadian Finals in the team roping when I was little,” she said.

“It was pretty cool to bring our sport in and get to rope here as being one of the first ones.”

Breakaway was previewed at the CFR in 2019 but was not part of the official show. It appeared at plenty of rodeo events across the province this summer and has grown in popularity over the last few years.

Pierson has been at the centre of that, as the 2021 NHSRA (National High School Rodeo Association) World Champion and the 2021 AHSRA (Alberta High School Rodeo Association) champion.

“It’s awesome. I’m just the young one but there’s so many people before me and all the older girls, they paved the way for us so I’m grateful for them and for us, to see where the breakaway roping is going,” she said.

Lacombe’s Taylor Flewelling was third and Lakota Bird finished second.

Kane Scott was another CFR rookie to make history, winning his first-ever CFR title in the steer riding. The 15-year-old posted an 84.75 in the fourth and final round of the novice event, to capture the victory.

“It feels pretty good. Good to get it done after what I was hoping for, getting all the travelling and everything, it makes it worth it,” said the Condor cowboy.

On night one of the CFR, Scott broke his leg while posting a 74-point ride. He was bucked off on the next two rides, before finishing off the week in style.

“The first night after I broke my leg, I was down and then I was like I’ll try to get on. I didn’t come here to get out in the first round. I was pretty nervous in the second round. After that I felt pretty confident in everything,” he said.

Scott was adament that this won’t be the last time he competes at the CFR.

“This is just the start,” he said.

“I’m hoping to win – be the bull riding champ. Bulls is where I want to go, it’s what I live for. I’ll be here in the bull riding in a couple years.”

CFR round 4 results

Morgan Grant won round 4 in tie down roping with an eight second takedown. K’s Thompson picked up a round win with an 87-point ride on Redon Acres and sits second on the overall standings behind Big Valley’s Zeke Thurston.

Bertina Olafson won ladies barrel racing with the fastest time of the week in 13.952 in round 4.

In the bareback, Ty Taypotat tied for top spot with Clint Laye, as both cowboys posted an 85-point ride.

Legendary cowboy Curtis Cassidy was the top man in steer wrestling with a 3.5-second run in round 4. Steele Depaol and Riley Warren picked up the round win in team roping with a 4.2-second time.

CFR Round 5 results

In the ladies barrel racing, defending Canadian Champion Brooke Wills ran her personal best so far at CFR47. The Kamloops, B.C. cowgirl posted a 14.084 sec time to earn top spot on the night.

In the steer wrestling event, Stephen Culling regained his place at the top of the overall season standings courtesy of a 3.7 second go-round winning run on Saturday night. Culling has 34,618 points for 2021 and is followed by Cody Cassidy, Curtis Cassidy, Ty Miller and Justin Miller who leads the aggregate.

Valleyview cowboy Clay Ullery, and his Waldeck, SK team roping partner Tyce McLeod, lead the hotly-contested team roping season standings with Tee McLeod and Brady Chappel in second place – less than 4000 points behind the leaders. The roles are reversed in the aggregate however, with McLeod and Chappel leading the way as the only team with five steers caught.

Two time World Champion and reigning Canadian Champion Zeke Thurston of Big Valley, Alberta continued his domination of the saddle bronc riding when he rode Vold’s Stack Em Up to and 87.25 for the Saturday night win. Thurston’s 55,783 points is almost exactly twice that of his closest pursuer, K’s Thomson of Lundbreck.

 

Breakaway roping made its debut at the Canadian Finals Rodeo Saturday. (BYRON HACKETT/Advocate Staff)

Breakaway roping made its debut at the Canadian Finals Rodeo Saturday. (BYRON HACKETT/Advocate Staff)

Saddle bronc rider Layton Green manages to hang on for an eight-second ride during the fourth performance at the Canadian Finals Rodeo on Saturday at the Peavey Mart Centrium. (Photo by BYRON HACKETT/Advocate Staff)

Saddle bronc rider Layton Green manages to hang on for an eight-second ride during the fourth performance at the Canadian Finals Rodeo on Saturday at the Peavey Mart Centrium. (Photo by BYRON HACKETT/Advocate Staff)

Big Valley’s Zeke Thurston hangs on four his fourth successful ride in the saddle bronc at CFR 47 at the Peavey Mart Centrium Saturday. (Photo by BYRON HACKETT/Advocate Staff)

Big Valley’s Zeke Thurston hangs on four his fourth successful ride in the saddle bronc at CFR 47 at the Peavey Mart Centrium Saturday. (Photo by BYRON HACKETT/Advocate Staff)

Legendary cowboy Curtis Cassidy wrestles a steer to the ground during the steer wrestling at the Canadian Finals Rodeo 47 in Red Deer at the Peavey Mart Centrium. (Photo by BYRON HACKETT/Advocate Staff)

Legendary cowboy Curtis Cassidy wrestles a steer to the ground during the steer wrestling at the Canadian Finals Rodeo 47 in Red Deer at the Peavey Mart Centrium. (Photo by BYRON HACKETT/Advocate Staff)